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Another Voice: Public protests hurt the progressive movement

By Allan Stevo

As everyone turns to the “Not My President” protests, an important window of opportunity is closing.

Donald Trump came along as an independent candidate and smashed the two-party system. Sure, he hijacked one of the two major parties to do it, so he seems “Republican,” but the guy is a lot like a Bill Clinton Democrat circa 1996.

Something special happened, though, during these last 17 months of Trump. He smashed the dominance of both of the parties’ establishments and he smashed the established media’s dominance. There is a giant power vacuum waiting to be occupied across the political spectrum.

Trump is moving on to other things. No more campaigning for him. He’s got administrative responsibilities in Washington to worry about now.

As people protest the Trump presidency, time and energy is being wasted by the left. I might even wonder if it’s being intentionally redirected in order to distract from the important issues at hand.

Large funders of the Democratic Party use the party to do their bidding. One such funder, George Soros, met with his group, Democracy Alliance, in Washington for a three-day conference, working through strategy and making funding promises.

These same people are funding the organizations that provide leadership for at least some of the current protests happening and are in some cases also funding a portion of the protesters present. Using some paid protesters helps to “seed” a group of people and to ensure a robust protest. It’s a common and effective technique that helps attract passionate party activists to a protest.

Those passionate party activists are on the streets – doing nothing of consequence, but tiring themselves out. They are releasing lots of pent-up energy, which is a good thing, but that energy can be better directed. While the activists are kept busy on the streets, screaming about something that’s never going to change, the party insiders are busy scrambling to pick up the pieces of the post-Hillary Clinton Democratic Party and shore up their power.

A tremendous blow has been dealt to the Democratic Party establishment. Trump’s victory has opened up an amazing window of opportunity – a power vacuum in both of the parties. Those who truly desire to see change are focusing on that power vacuum and how to fill it. Those insiders who desire to maintain control of their broken party are meanwhile distracting their most passionate supporters with street protests about trifling matters.

Two years from now, four years from now, maybe six years from now, America has a chance to see two revitalized national parties, rebuilt from the ground up.
With the current protests, I am almost certain that only one of those parties will go through the hard work of a rebuild. The progressives are busy yelling, while the neo-liberals are laying out plans for three more decades of Democratic Party control.

Allan Stevo grew up in Chicago’s Democratic machine and is a former independent candidate for the U.S. House. He sits on the board of New York City’s Metropolitan Republican Club.

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